United Sikhs declare legal victory in bullying case against West Contra Costa Unified School District

Richmond, California, Dec 14, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)
After experiencing a string of devastating incidents of bullying at the West Contra Costa Unified School District, the Gill Family contacted the United Sikhs legal team for representation of their high-school aged son. The boy, who wishes to remain anonymous, was targeted by bullies at his school due to his religious beliefs and articles of faith, including his turban and unshorn hair.

United Sikhs took on the case and immediately reached out to officials at the school district to call for an apology, bullying prevention plan, and Sikh awareness training for faculty. In response, Superintendent Matt Duffy met with the Gill Family in-person to address the matter and apologize. The boy has since transferred to another high school in El Cerrito due to safety concerns.

To further highlight the importance of cultural and religious awareness, the education board at West Contra Costa Unified School District presented a proclamation to the Gill Family and United Sikhs before a crowd of more than 500 parents and community residents, honoring the special achievements of Sikh and Punjabi Americans in the United States. The proclamation ceremony was held in honor of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji’s 550th Birth Anniversary during the Sikh Awareness Month on Nov. 20.

“Sikh children continue to be bullied at twice the national rate, mostly due to articles of faith,” said Jasmit Singh, United Sikhs Legal Director. “We look forward to working with the West Contra Costa Unified School District to ensure such incidents are curbed through education and acceptance. This is a teachable moment for us all.”

Bullying can happen in any number of places, contexts, or locations. Sometimes that place is online or through a cellphone. About 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school, as reported by StopBullying.gov.

  • 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.
  • 70.4% of school staff have seen bullying. 41% witness bullying once a week or more.community-wide bullying prevention strategy.

When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time.
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable, and research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time.

Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy.

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